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THRIVE

Improved well-being may be music to your ears

Commuting by car can be stressful. The traffic outside is busy, but the traffic in my head can be even busier. I stop at a red light and I feel out of focus and caught up in thoughts. Did I leave the coffee pot on? Should I cancel that dentist appointment? Thinking about the past or worrying about the future, I turn on the radio seeking solace. Ah, I love this song! I immediately feel a swell of positive emotion and reflect on the memory of seeing this band play live at a summer concert with my best friend. The song ends. The light turns green. I begin to breathe more deeply, feel alert, focused, inspired and hit the reset button for my day.

This is just one example of how music can bring improved feelings of well-being.

Music engages the body, mind, spirit and emotions simultaneously. Music activates all areas of the brain. Music allows us to be in the present moment, and it is a natural way we can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Music brings us an opportunity to engage with others and build community. It motivates us to engage in physical exercise. We celebrate life with music.

There are a myriad of ways we can use music to achieve wellness in our lives.

Here are a few examples:

  • Bring your children to a music class and be a kid yourself!
  • Join a church choir.
  • Pick up a guitar and sing around a campfire.
  • Sing the Blues in the shower.
  • Join a community music theater.
  • Plan a feel-good playlist for your morning commute. (Traffic? What traffic!?)
  • Put on your headphones while you weed the garden.
  • Find a drum circle in a meetup group.
  • Listen to music for relaxation or combine it with guided imagery.
  • Sing a lullaby to your baby.
  • Run while listening to your favorite rap artist.

The possibilities are endless. Go and find the music to your ears.

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